Table Stakes: January 2016


Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.


Beside The Broad, in the back of the courtyard where the 100-year-old olive trees stand, is Otium, a modern, rustic restaurant from Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (Barrel & Ashes). The dark interiors and open kitchen layout — which feels like a Swedish manse — is a romantic spot for dates. But with its big windows and fire roasted menu, it’s also ideal for a lazy brunch. And it’s sharable. A bowl of fire roasted pork pozole, an avocado toast and a fat funnel cake are solid for the table. Walk it off with a tour of the museum.

222 S. Hope St. (map)

Charcoal Venice
Venice Beach

The first thing you do when dining at Chef Josiah Citrin’s new casual restaurant, Charcoal Venice, is order the well-balanced cold smoked Old Fashioned and the cabbage head for the table. The cabbage comes overcooked, so it’s soft like bread and you dip it in a tangy dill yogurt. The short ribs have been cooked for two days and fall off the bone. Chimichurri is among the condiments on the table and goes great with the lamb ribs. For greens, the collards have had the dressing massaged so that they seem cooked, but they’re raw and quite delicious.

425 Washington Blvd. (map)

Lodge Bread Co
Culver City

Indulge in hearty loaves and all things gluten at The Lodge Bread Co in Culver City. We don’t want to hear anyone complaining about paying $8 for toast. These are thick slices slathered in homemade nut butters and fig jams of gourmet quality. A great place to casually read the morning paper.

11918 Washington Blvd. (map)

Santa Monica

There are few Greek restaurants in Los Angeles, which makes Inotheke in Santa Monica a welcome addition. The beachy clean ambience is home to fava bottarga that’s like a chunky hummus filled with split peas and thyme, which you spread on thin, toasted focaccia. The mousakas comes with beef and is like a lasagna of eggplant, zucchini and bechamel.

606 Broadway #101, Santa Monica (map)

Market Provisions
Beverly Grove

In case you didn’t know, Cooks County rebranded and is now Market Provisions. The layout is the same, only with more natural tones, exposed rafters and dishes like sauted pea shoots or the salmon over lentils. It’s the sort of fresh and light fare that’s great for a business lunch.

8009 Beverly Blvd. (map)

Main image and images of Charcoal courtesy of Dylan + Jeni
Image of Otium courtesy of Sierra Prescott